Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

NEW DRAFT CARE International Policy Position Paper on REDD • December 2009

Policy Position Paper on


(Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)

December 2009 ______


CARE believes that the post 2012 climate change agreement must include mandatory social standards and safeguards to ensure that REDD activities:

  • Are effective: by fully involving local communities,who are crucial in determining the success of forest conservation in the long term;
  • Avoid doing harm: by protecting against violations of human rights or other negative consequences for poor and marginalised groups;
  • Promote social justice: by including mechanisms for sharing REDD benefits equitably, with, andalso within, indigenous and local communities in developing countries.

Social standards and safeguards are necessary whether REDD is financed through market- or non-market mechanisms, though the nature of specific safeguards may be different in different circumstances. ______

Safeguards and benefit sharing mechanisms for REDD

Given the urgency of keeping global temperature rise as far below 2 degrees as possible, reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries must be part of the post- 2012 climate change agreement. This must go hand in hand with drastic emissions reductions from other sectors; REDD is not the whole solution but is a critical part of it. [1]Reforestation, afforestation and forest restoration (referred to as REDD-plus) offer additional potential for removing carbon from the atmosphere.

As many as 300 million people, most of them very poor, depend on the world’s forests for their daily survival. REDD can support livelihoods, maintain vital ecosystem services, and preserve global biodiversity; but it can also exacerbate inequality and contribute to the violation of the rights of forest dependent people. The risks are accentuated in countries and regions with weak forest governance - where the majority of the world’s tropical forests lie.

Experience from other forest related projectsindicates that indigenous peoples and local communitiesare:

  • critical to the success of activities, though they can also be
  • harmed by poorly implemented or conceived projects, and are often
  • excluded fromreceiving a fair share of the benefits.

CARE’s principal concerns aboutREDDinclude, among others

-Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities being denied rights and access to lands and resources essential for their livelihoods.

-Disproportionately negative impacts on women, who are normally responsible for water, firewood and wild forest products as part of the domestic economy, and for whom options for response are limited by lower access to education, cash and authority.

-Powerful interests within countries and within communities monopolising REDD revenues, with few benefits “trickling down” beyond local elites.

CARE’s policy positionson REDD derive from the twin convictions that

  1. Emissions from deforestation and forest degradation must be effectively reduced;
  2. In so doing, all relevant collective and individual human rights are respected.

Thus a REDD regime negotiated under the UNFCCC should require national governments to

  1. involve affected stakeholders in the setting, implementation and monitoring of REDD policy, to ensure approaches are relevant to different national, regional and local realities. This includes commitment to the full and effective participation of civil society and the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples and local communities.
  1. report against criteria for REDD that include not only emissions reductions but also institutional reforms, broad consultation processes and social impacts. This requires that provisions for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) beyond carbon.
  1. operate a dispute resolutionmechanism for individuals and communities to address the violation of rights at both national and international levels (in recognition of the international nature of a global REDD regime)
  1. include social and environmental standards and forest governance criteria in any review of compliance against which entitlement to REDD financing (funds or market-based) will be assessed. This is particularly relevant when assessing transition of countries from a “readiness” phase to full implementation.
  1. Address the drivers of deforestation in both tropical forest nations and countries which generate demand for products that lead to deforestation.

CARE recognises that detailed provisions for the implementation of the above will not be possible in a Copenhagen agreement, in the light of progress to date on negotiating the REDD text. However, an eventual agreement must provide the framework and enabling guidance to ensure that these provisions are elaborated in the months immediately following COP 15.

• • •

For more information contact:

Raja Jarrah

REDD Advocacy Adviser

CARE International


[1] Most recent estimates of emissions from deforestation in developing countries are around 15% of total emissions, but this understates the importance of forest protection for stabilising climate, since forests also play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle at all scales from local to planetary.